The FIA has kicked off the selection process for the 13th (and any other) empty entry slots on the 2011 F1 grid with what it has named a ‘call for expressions of interest.’
Anyone who would like to enter is invited in the first instance to send €1000 to an FIA bank account, which will make them eligible for the next step.
The FIA has been wounded by the US F1 fiasco – and criticised heavily by the likes of Ferrari – and clearly wants to ensure that next time around, no mistakes are made.
Bizarrely though its schedule calls for a decision to be made by July, which is very late. Last year the three original candidates were notified on June 12 and still faced huge challenges in getting their cars ready, notwithstanding any financial hurdles. While it’s true that Lotus got the nod officially in September and still made the grid, it had begun the goundwork a lot earlier, and had been in close contact with the FIA since June.
As was announced when the 2010 entry list was issued, the FIA will also select at least one reserve. Logic suggests however that it would be almost impossible to get a project off the ground, and that any team would need six months or so notice that it is being upgraded to full entry status – unless like Stefan GP last month, it had access to someone else’s unused car.
The full statement reads as follows: “The FIA has decided to open a new selection process to identify a candidate team to fill any vacancy that may exist in the FIA Formula One World Championship at the start of the 2011 season. The FIA may also identify one or more possible ‘reserve’ entrants to fill such vacancies.
“This selection process will be open to all candidates capable of participating in the Championship for 2011 and 2012. The overall long-term interests of the Championship will determine which candidates are selected.
“The precise terms of this selection process, together with the applicable selection criteria, deadlines, legal requirements and other conditions, will be communicated to candidates who have registered a formal expression of interest with the FIA’s Secretariat before 5pm CET Thursday 15th April 2010, together with an administration fee of €1,000.
“The application process will commence at that time with those who have registered an expression of interest before this deadline (late applicants will be admitted only at the FIA’s discretion). This fee is non-refundable, although it will be offset against the application fee, which the FIA will require from those submitting full applications.
“All applicants will be expected to undergo thorough due diligence. By way of indication only, the applicable selection criteria will include:
(a) the technical ability and resources of the team;
(b) the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation;
(c) the team’s experience and human resources;
(d) the FIA’s assessment of the value that the candidate may bring to the Championship as a whole.
“The timing of this process will depend on the candidates’ responses. However, by way of indication only, the FIA anticipates that full applications will need to be submitted by the end of June, followed by due diligence leading to a decision in July 2010.
“Note: The FIA hereby invites interested parties to send a formal expression of interest and administration fee to the FIA Secretariat (firstname.lastname@example.org / Bank: Crédit du Nord, 50 rue d’Anjou, 75008 Paris, IBAN CODE: FR76 3007 6020 2025 3680 0020 034, SWIFT CODE: NORDFRPP Account holder: FIA), together with full contact details and a letter introducing their candidacy.”